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An Expat Talks about Living in Quito, Ecuador

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Quito

How long have you lived there?

4 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

DAMAS - Damas Norteamericanas y Britanicas - meets once a month and does service projects for the community, we have an English book library and a play group for moms with young kids.

English Fellowship Church - all English speaking

Advent St. Nicholas Church - 3 services in English, Spanish, and German

Expats living in Ecuador interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Ecuador interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Quito is very diverse. We have a growing Asian community as well as a large expat community. The Quitenos are very nice and accepting of other cultures and people. The Latinos in general do not mix classes (the city is separated into neighborhoods of different classes.)

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

The city has all sorts of businesses and industries, but most expats will find quick employment in some sort of education job. The universities have many opportunities for those with degrees and the English institutes are always looking for native English speakers. Small business owners find it hard to get started here, but some do very well.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

The Latino life focuses on family and friends. The Expat community focuses on service projects, mountain sports activities, and traveling around the country.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Be prepared for pollution and robbery problems. Quito also has a large traffic issue and makes it hard to get around at busy hours of the day. The altitude is sometimes hard for people with asthma or the elderly. In general, it's still a small city and has a friendly welcoming attitude. It's easy to get away on weekends and go to the mountains for fresh air. The night life is fun and exciting in the mariscal area.

I would research the city really well before renting or buying. Find the safer neighborhoods like Quito, Tenis or Gonzalez Suarez where there are many other expats.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Dec 11, 2011 16:36

I just spent several days in Quito and my initial opinion is not very positive. The city is just filthy, the drivers are all related to Italian race drivers and and the traffic itself makes New York City seem tame. You have to watch yourself every minute or you will be robbed. The innkeeper, also an American is leaving after 5 years there. He cannot take it anymore. His wife is Ecuadorian and is begging him to leave. The pollution from the diesel powered busses and truck cannot be helped. Modern diesel engines adjust themselves for oxygen levels and at 9,000 feet the fuel/air mixture must be very rich which causes the black exhaust smoke.

guest
Mar 6, 2012 10:28

I live in Quito, too, though I am looking for a rental in the valley of Cumbaya. I love it here. I can get around easily and find whatever I am looking for by just asking people. It helps that I speak Spanish. Going out of the city is pleasant as well as the cultures around are diverse and fascinating. I have enjoyed my time here tremendously and hope to continue living here for long time to come. I have several children and also find there is plenty to do and discover with them. So far, so good! I feel plenty safe here, though I don't spend time in the evening in the mariscal area or anywhere I feel uncomfortable (which could be said of any major city!) I am enchanted and grateful to be here.

guest
Mar 6, 2012 10:29

I live in Quito, too, though I am looking for a rental in the valley of Cumbaya. I love it here. I can get around easily and find whatever I am looking for by just asking people. It helps that I speak Spanish. Going out of the city is pleasant as well as the cultures around are diverse and fascinating. I have enjoyed my time here tremendously and hope to continue living here for long time to come. I have several children and also find there is plenty to do and discover with them. So far, so good! I feel plenty safe here, though I don't spend time in the evening in the mariscal area or anywhere I feel uncomfortable (which could be said of any major city!) I am enchanted and grateful to be here.

vegashat
Jul 27, 2014 00:09

Where do your kids go to school? We are looking at moving to Quito in the next 4 months and are trying to decide where to live and where to have our kids go to school. They are entering 4th and 7th grade.

EcuadorDean
May 23, 2016 21:10

This was written from a young persons bias as the Mariscal / Foch area is for people under 30.

Justwantpeace
May 26, 2019 18:10

I am seriously considering moving to Ecuador when I turn 65. I am single, Gay and not especially religious (lazy Buddhist l guess) and I can't afford retiring here in Southern California. I have focused my interests on 3 cities Quito, Cuenca and Loja. I am satisfied with a one bedroom apartment or small house in a safe, diverse neighborhood. I am not looking for luxury but reliability of electricity, water, water heater, access to internet and cell phone use. At my age healthcare is important and I am curious about the public health system. I welcome all advice, suggestions, the good, bad and ugly. I am really interested in moving for good, considered Mexico but I would have to leave in four years. But I do love Oaxaca and would enjoy finding an Ecuadorian version of Oaxaca. Thanks for your help in making my decision. I am 15 to 20 months away from making a move.

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For American expats looking to dine out on Thanksgiving, here's a list of several restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinners in Quito and Cuena.

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